bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.
Welcome to my world; where I resent about 2/3 of the population.
It's not because I want to. It's not because I'm a "Millenial" or Gen Y. It's because of the person that I am on the inside. It's because of what I've been through in my life. It's because of what others have done to me in the past. Resentment is a hell-of-a feeling...and it eats at your very core.
In therapy, I worked on some of my issues with resentment. I learned to finally forgive people in my past for hurting me. For saying cruel things, gossiping about me, appearing as a friend to my face but acting as an enemy behind my back. Exes, friends, family...broken people who used me to benefit themselves. I forgave them. But it took a long time.
And all that pent-up resentment caused a distrust in most humans.
Now I'm harboring another form of resentment, that not only makes me question others but also myself. I have been in and out of such a bad place for several years now, and I feel like it's really taken its toll. I don't know who I am or what I want in life anymore. And it's scary. It's terrifying to feel so broken after expecting things that you never received. For feeling taken for granted, underappreciated, ridiculed/mocked, treated unfairly, and looked down upon. For taking so much in stride until you just couldn't deal anymore. It's hard to pick yourself up out of that.
Resentment stems from ruminating over negative details, but when your experience felt more negative than it was positive, it's hard to stay on the course. Your ego is bruised. Your feelings are hurt. You feel like you gave your all and got nothing in return; like it was wasted time. I tried so hard to keep a positive attitude, keep my mouth shut and go with the flow. I was expected to just bend to appease others. But by doing that, I accepted things that I should never had accepted, didn't speak up when I should have, and pretty much set myself up for this.
I'm so disappointed in myself.
A lot of people found themselves very resentful during the last election. An article from Psychology Today discusses 8 strategies to work through resentment. You need to allow yourself to feel and understand the emotion, but you can't live within in. This is something I'm battling pretty hard at the moment. When resentment succumbs your life for so long, it's hard to look forward to "better"...you're already so gun-shy about certain types of people or situations, and it keeps you from coming out of your comfort zone; from challenging yourself.
Resentment is like hate--it hurts you more than it does the other person/people. It's a hollow emotion that helps no one.
But to work through resentment, you must realize you feel it, vent it out healthy ways, accept it, and move on from it. I compare it to the stages of grief:
Denial: at first you may not realize that this is an issue, and you may just look the other way; you expect things will change with time
Anger: you realize there is an issue and you start becoming angry with the person(s) that are treating you unfairly
Bargaining: you speak up...and maybe things change...but if they don't, you start wondering if YOU need to make the change
Depression: no one wants to feel resentful of others; we don't want to feel like we were targeted or treated unfairly
Acceptance: you realize that the only person you can control is yourself and that how others treat you is a reflection of themselves and not you
Of course, this is my own comparison. But I feel like it's pretty comparable to "losing someone". You put your faith and trust in a person and they disappoint you, and when resentment rears its ugly head it's like the death of a relationship. It's hard to come back from that.
#8 in the article states that you must "practice applying the understanding that unless you've learned how to change the past, it's as good as it's ever going to get". In Layman's terms, you're never going to move on from this feeling until you've accepted it.
And yes, I know it's hard to resist negativity, but it's essential. So much is a mess in this world and we don't take enough time to appreciate the little things. We get so caught up in the negativity and resentment that sometimes we just need to detoxify ourselves and learn better coping mechanisms. Be it meditation, yoga, reading, writing, crafting, the like.
You can't live a happy and valid life while harboring resentment of people from the past. Yes, easier said than done, but it's essential to progress. Take a deep breath, know your feelings are valid, and release it. Just let it go.